Our Mission

The Galveston Island Humane Society, Inc. is dedicated to promoting animal welfare and the protection and prevention of unwanted or homeless animals of Galveston Island.


The Galveston Island Humane Society (GIHS) was formed in 1981 by a group of concerned citizens. Through years of hard work we are a humane shelter that is open to the public six days a week to facilitate reuniting pets with their families, provide care for the homeless or unwanted pets, and promotion adoptions.

GIHS is an “open admission” shelter for Galveston Island. That means we accept all homeless pets on the island, even when the shelter is full. Our open admission status in a community with a disproportionately high number of homeless or unwanted pets could lead to needless euthanasia in our shelter. We work diligently to assure that adoptable pets are not held under a time limit and are kept available until they are rehomed, placed in a family or transferred to a partnering agency.


As part of our mission to save all adoptable pets, we have adopted a policy requiring appointments for owner surrenders. The shelter is consistently at capacity and owners are encouraged to attempt to re-home their pets on their own if possible.


The following are some specific goals for our agency:

  • Rehome lost pets or find ‘forever’ homes for all of our animals.
  • Obtain additional funding to enhance our current programs and expand into other areas, including enrichment and training programs for shelter pets.
  • Continue to coordinate and fund a comprehensive spay/neuter programs for the City of Galveston residents to stop the influx of unwanted and homeless animals coming in to the shelter. This includes our successful TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) program.
  • Provide education in the community focused on the long term care of pets as family members. This include basic care, vaccination needs and requirements, identification through microchipping, and altering all pets to decrease additional homeless pets.
  • Educate the public related to City ordinances pertaining the care and licensing of family pets.


Executive Director – Caroline Dorsett-Pate
Assistant Director – Vanessa Coggins
Database Coordinator – Victoria Reyes
Client Care Associates – Janice Wagner, Alan Baich, and Priscilla Pippin
Animal Health Techs – Katrina Ross (lead) Reana Palmer, and Hailey Cox
Animal Care Supervisor – Johnathan Pineda
Animal Care Staff – Debbie Radzieski, Julie Abbot, Joseph Collendrina, and Dulce Turrubiartez
Volunteer Coordinator – Danielle Nordstrom
Foster Care Coordinator – Thresea Russ
Feral Cat Liaison – Vanessa Coggins


The GIHS Board of Directors consists of up to 20 volunteer members who assist with decisions about the shelter operations and policies. They also coordinate fundraisers and provide support to the shelter staff. Interested in serving? Please email: Info@GalvestonHumane.org for more information.

GIHS Board of Directors

President – Shelby Scott
President Elect – David Rogers
Treasurer – Debby Chambers
Secretary – Diana Barr
Past President – Shelby Scott


  • Liz Alvarado
  • Joel Caldwell
  • Lea Fistein, DVM
  • Courtney Hailey
  • Janet Hoffman
  • Jeannie Hughes
  • Jeannie Janota
  • Maureen McCutchen
  • Stephanie Vasut